The Conservation Program on Agricultural Lands (CPAL) is a part of the Whatcom County Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), codified within Article 8 of County Code Title 16.16.
The CPAL program gives farmers and ranchers (including hobby farmers) an alternative to the standard regulations of the CAO, and can potentially allow for "ongoing agricultural" activities within certain critical areas and associated buffers if Best Management Practices (BMPs) are implemented to protect water quality; as defined within Article 9 of County Code Title 16.16.
If you answered YES to both of these questions, then you are eligible to participate in CPAL. The next step is to develop and submit a Conservation Farm Plan.
A Conservation Farm Plan consists of a review of current agricultural operations, any operational constraints, and identifies opportunities to prevent or reduce pollution entering surface water from agricultural activities through implementation of Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) best management practices (BMPs).
There are three types of Conservation Farm Plans: